American Anderson Wins Women's Slopestyle Gold

by
Reuters
American Jamie Anderson laid down the best run of the day to clinch the first Olympic gold medal in women's snowboarding slopestyle at the Sochi Games on Sunday.

American Jamie Anderson laid down the best run of the day to clinch the first Olympic gold medal in women's snowboarding slopestyle at the Sochi Games on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Californian scored 95.25 on her second run to blow away the competition, leaving Enni Rukajarvi of Finland with silver and Jenny Jones the bronze -- Britain's first Olympic medal in a snow event.

Anderson's victory also gave the United States a sweep of the gold medals in snowboarding slopestyle after Sage Kotsenburg won the men's event on Saturday.

There was also a reminder of the dangers of the sport when Sarka Pancochova, who had led after the first run, botched a jump and landed with a sickening thud on the snow.

The 23-year-old appeared to lose consciousness as she slithered down the slope before being helped to her feet and making her way groggily to the bottom, where she showed her rivals a huge crack in her helmet.

Austrian Anna Gasser, who set the best score in qualifying, could only manage 10th place, perhaps unsettled after setting off too early on her first run and then failing to get back up the icy slope in farcical scenes at the start.

Australia's defending halfpipe champion Torah Bright came up short in her bid for three snowboarding medals in Sochi, finishing seventh after failing to land a clean run.